PHOTO: The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. (Photo via Flickr/Prayitno)
Hundreds of guests and employees were forced to evacuate the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee Wednesday after a fire broke out in the kitchen, The Tennessean reported.
Citing Nashville fire officials, the publication reported one firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion but there were no other injuries.
Hotel spokeswoman Jenny Barker told the Tennessean that the fire started inside of the kitchen at the Old Hickory Steakhouse restaurant in the Delta Atrium at around noon Wednesday.
"Basically it was like a large chimney fire," Nashville Fire Department assistant Chief Walter Demonbreun Jr. told the Tennessean, pointing out that the fire began on a stove and rose up into the ventilation.
"There was a lot of smoke." he added. "But very minimal water damage. We didn't use a lot of water."
With smoke spreading into the atrium and Garden Conservatory, the ventilation system and plants sustained extensive damage. Officials are still surveying the damage and there's no timetable on when the Old Hickory Steakhouse will reopen.
WKRN shared viewer footage of the smoke billowing out of the resort.
The massive four-star resort boasts more than a dozen other restaurants, nine acres of indoor gardens and three pools, among other amenities. Meanwhile, the adjacent convention center features more than 150 meeting spaces and half of a dozen ballrooms.
Nearly all of the hotel's 3,000 rooms were filled Wednesday, according to the spokeswoman, but it wasn't until about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday that the fire marshal gave guests and employees the green light to enter the hotel.
"We are so grateful that no one was injured. Our thoughts are with the firefighter who has some heat issues," Barker told the Tennessean. "Grateful that today is gorgeous outside and are so our guests were able, when we had to evacuate, were able to enjoy this beautiful Tennessee weather while they're here."
"We're focused on taking care of our guests...they certainly had some surprises today but hopefully they experienced some great southern hospitality."
Wednesday's fire comes more than six years after severe flooding caused millions of dollars in damage to the Nashville resort, leading it to close for six months.